The Niskanen Center Internship Program is dedicated to preparing undergraduate and graduate students for careers in public policy, communications, and federal affairs.
We offer a collaborative, fast-paced environment on Capitol Hill, with opportunities to network and engage in intellectual discussions with our scholars, and we are continuing to build and formalize our program.
On a given day, our interns could attend a meeting with Hill staff, pull data for a research paper, write a commentary, or prepare a communications plan for a new policy initiative.
Policy interns work with Niskanen Center scholars in researching and writing policy papers, website commentary, and op-eds. Candidates must be well-versed in their chosen policy area. Opportunities are available in climate, immigration, poverty and welfare, and regulatory affairs.
Digital media interns assist in managing social media accounts, producing graphics, and editing videos, depending on experience. Strong research and writing skills are required, and a degree in English, Public Relations, Journalism, Communications, and/or Marketing is a plus.
Federal affairs interns assist in conducting research on members of Congress and upcoming legislation, in addition to attending and monitoring congressional hearings. Previous experience on Capitol Hill is required.
All Niskanen Center interns receive a $700 monthly stipend.
How to Apply
Summer Semester 2020: May 18, 2020 to August 21, 2020—Submit application by February 15, 2020; you will be notified by March 15, 2020.
Fall Semester 2020: September 14, 2020 to December 18, 2020—Submit application by June 26, 2020; you will be notified by July 31, 2020.
Winter/Spring Semester 2021: January 25, 2021 to April 30, 2021—Submit application by November 2, 2020; you will be notified by November 30, 2020.
Summer Semester 2021: May 17, 2021 to August 27, 2021—Submit application by February 12, 2021; you will be notified by March 12, 2021.
Fall Semester 2021: September 13, 2021 to December 17, 2021—Submit application by June 25, 2021; you will be notified by July 30, 2021.
Please note that semester start and end dates are firm, unless you seek prior approval.
Send the following (and any questions) in one PDF and one email to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Identify no more than two policy department interests
- One writing sample (do not exceed 3,000 words)
- Explanation about why you are applying to Niskanen (do not exceed 300 words)
Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Equal Employment Opportunity
In order to provide equal employment and advancement opportunities for all individuals, employment decisions at the Niskanen Center are based on merit, qualifications, and abilities. Niskanen Center does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, disability, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or any other characteristics protected by law. This policy governs all aspects of employment, including selection, job assignment, compensation, discipline, termination, and access to benefits and training.
Please note that if you are placed with us through the Peterson Foundation, you will not be eligible for the Niskanen Center’s monthly stipend, as you will be compensated directly through the Peterson Foundation.
This summer, we will be one of the organizations participating in the Peterson Foundation’s Fiscal Internship Program. The program engages students with fiscal policy by providing them with first-hand research experience. If you have a specific interest in fiscal policy, you may choose to apply to this program and may have the option to be placed at the Niskanen Center.
Niskanen Intern Accomplishments
Among other projects, Niskanen interns have accomplished the following:
- Spearheaded a research project to inform coalition-building efforts for the climate department
- Co-wrote and published a policy brief with senior staff in immigration
- Wrote blog posts cited in the Washington Post and in the Washington Examiner
- Built and managed the Niskanen Center’s Instagram account
- Developed and managed content calendars for Niskanen Center communications efforts
Where Are They Now?
Here’s a look at how past interns are using the experience they’ve gained at Niskanen in their studies and careers:
- One is enrolled in a Master’s of Public Policy program at UC Irvine.
- One is Fulbright scholar.
- One is a regulatory and government affairs lead at Analytical Space.
- One is an editorial associate at SmithBucklin.
- One is an immigration policy fellow at the Niskanen Center.
- One is a welfare policy analyst at the Niskanen Center.
Our interns are now also at Booz Allen Hamilton, McKinsey, Foreign Policy, the Daily Caller, the Cato Institute, the Department of Defense, Americans for Prosperity, the Center for Law and Social Policy, the Charter Cities Institute and others. Other former interns are in law school and some are pursuing graduate degrees in public policy, public administration, and economics.